Not everyone is sold on putting hardwood floors in the kitchen, and the look’s popularity comes and goes—but there’s no denying that, done right, these floors look good.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated March 13, 2019
Getty Images

Hardwood floors in the kitchen definitely isn’t for everyone. For a few years, according to Houzz, hardwood floors were at the top of the kitchen flooring popularity list, but the look is no longer number one—though that doesn’t mean it’s fallen off the kitchen décor ideas map all together. Ceramic or porcelain tile is the current top material (and these kitchen floor tile ideas prove that tile is an excellent option), but any die-hard hardwood fan can still bring the flooring idea home.

Wood cabinets are growing in popularity again, likely thanks to the explosive popularity of the farmhouse kitchen style, and hardwood floors fit neatly with the trend, especially when the woods have a little contrast. Incorporating wood into the kitchen (and other rooms of the home) is even a major design trend for 2019.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Hardwood floors in the kitchen may be growing in popularity for its natural warmth and relaxed feel, but they can look positively sophisticated, too. New takes on the look use creatively placed boards, unexpected stains, and more to make hardwood floors feel fresh. One of the greatest arguments for hardwood floors in kitchens is that they unite it with the rest of the house. In open-concept homes, this is especially important, but it’s nice to have a sense of continuity in any home. Hardwood floors can offer that continuity, while giving kitchens some flooring options beyond the classic tile and linoleum.

Of course, there’s a downside. You’d have to learn how to clean wood floors, and real hardwood floors tend to require a good bit of maintenance and are susceptible to water damage, which kitchens usually experience a lot of. Food messes on tile are easy to clean up; the same stain on a wood floor might pose a challenge. Engineered options that mimic the look of hardwood are available, though it’s hard to beat the look and feel of solid wood.

Now that you have the facts, if you’re still determined to try kitchen floors in the kitchen, keep reading for some great pictures that may just inspire you to plan a spring kitchen refresh. (Next to trying some new kitchen backsplash ideas, changing your kitchen floors is one of the biggest-impact ways to change the look and feel of your cookspace.)

A light wood with visible grain feels natural and has the power to warm up any space. Paired with plenty of light colors and neutrals, it feels fresh and playful—perfect for any kitchen that needs some brightening up. In this space, which is plenty light and bright, the wood floor serves as a neutral finish that warms the space without taking a starring role.

In an all-white kitchen, pops of natural wood both ground the space and lend it some warmth. Where a tile might clutter the room, a simple wood with a visible grain blends into the background in a way that helps the cabinetry pop.

In a dramatic kitchen, a dark wood floor that balances an organic-looking stain with a deep finish offers a just-right contrast. Where dark cabinets strike a mood, wood tempers it just enough to make the space feel welcoming.

Hardwood floors in the kitchen don’t necessarily mean long planks, though that certainly is a tried-and-true look. In kitchens with a geometric or unexpected bend, a pattern in the flooring can truly pop without detracting from any other bold elements.